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Jason Day playing for top ranking at this week’s Genesis Open

Thu, Feb 16, 1:38pm by Staff Writer

Jason Day needs a return to his top form with his top ranking is under threat at this week’s Genesis Open.

US Open champion Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama can both claim the No1 spot at reach the top of the at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles if Day’s lacklustre play continues.

Day finished in a tie for fifth at last week’s Pebble Beach Pro Am, with Jordan Spieth going on to win. At his previous start, Day missed the cut at Torrey Pines in January.

William Hill has Spieth as its $9 favourite to make it two in a row at the Genesis Open, with Johnson on $10, Matsuyama at $11 and Day paying $15.

To claim the top ranking, Johnson needs to win the Genesis Open and for Day to finish worse than a three-way tie for third to claim top spot.

If Matsuyama can win his sixth tournament in his last 10 starts this weekend, he will become the first male Japanese player to become No.1, but only if Day finishes lower than a two-way tie for 24th.

“They don’t give trophies for it, it is more of a pride thing at the end of your career; you want to know how many weeks you were at number one,” Day said.

“I said earlier that to be No.1 for a calendar year would be great, but I need to just focus on what I need to do because you can’t really focus on staying number one,” he said.

Day’s fellow Australian Adam Scott is on $23 to win with Sergio Garcia, with defending champion Bubba Watson paying $26 along with Justin Rose.

36-year-old Scott is opening his PGA Tour season this week, a year after finishing second to Watson.

Scott, who won at Riviera in 2005, won two PGA Tour victories last year, but could not add a major to his 2013 Masters title.

He told reporters this week there are six events he’ll prioritise as he looks to turn that around.

“This year, I’d pick the four majors, the Players Championship and the Aussie Open,” Scott said.

Other Aussies lining up at Riviera include Marc Leishman on $61, Cameron Smith at $141, Aaron Baddeley and Geoff Ogilvy at $201, Cameron Percy on $251, John Senden at $301, Greg Chalmers at $501 and Steven Bowditch at a long $1001.

Tiger Woods pulled out of the Genesis Open last week as he battles back spasms, but was planning to be at Riviera as the tournament’s host.

The former No1’s recovery progress was put in doubt when he cancelled Thursday after doctors said he should limit all activities.

Riviera Country Club is one of the great traditional country club layouts on the PGA Tour, but is prone to weather problems.

The latest forecast indicates a relatively dry opening day, with rain starting Thursday night local time and continuing all day Friday. Showers are also forecast for Saturday and Sunday.

Suggested Bet: Take Spieth to finish in the top 6: $2.10

William Hill Market:

Outright Winner

Jordan Spieth $8.50

Dustin Johnson $9

Hideki Matsuyama $11

Jason Day $15

Adam Scott $23

Sergio Garcia $23

Justin Rose $26

Justin Thomas $26

Bubba Watson $26

Brandt Snedeker $34

Patrick Reed $41

Phil Mickelson $41

Paul Casey $51

Matt Kuchar $51

Brooks Koepka $51

J B Holmes $51

Jimmy Walker $61

Byeong Hun An $61

Bill Haas $61

Marc Leishman $61

Ryan Moore $61

Brendan Steele $71

Branden Grace $71

Charl Schwartzel $71

Charles Howell $81

Jim Furyk $81

Francesco Molinari $81

Pat Perez $81

Shane Lowry $81

Tony Finau $81

Webb Simpson $81

Keegan Bradley $81

Kevin Chappell $81

Martin Laird $81

Ollie Schniederjans $101

Kevin Na $101

Thomas Pieters $101

Hudson Swafford $101

Jason Kokrak $101

Harris English $101

Brian Harman $101

Billy Horschel $101

Adam Hadwin $101

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